Saturday, September 01, 2012

Scary but beautiful times of life...

We all have them. 
Moments in life that completely freak us the f*ck out. Be it our own self-induced scare, fear of facing something, someone else's health, our health, heart break, relationship woes, employment changes... there's always at least a tiny second of "holy crap, what the hell am I going to do???!!!". If there isn't, you aren't human and you obviously aren't doing it right.
I'm working, currently, as a full time artist. I made the decision to attempt making ends meet through my passion as an artist after thinking about it for several years and watching my peers do the same and succeed. So I worked all summer, saved my earnings and put in my notice at work. It's no easy venture, and a very vulnerable time, but in the end, working hard for myself is as easy/complicated as working hard for someone else, but I tend to be happier working for me. Right now, I haven't seen the financial benefits, and I probably won't for a while. 
I'm neck deep in ideas that are manifesting on canvas. My heart is where it needs to be and my gusto is on and I'm ready to paint until my fingers are stuck like sculpture to my brushes. 
Of course, major change attracts other major change... I couldn't possibly start working on art full time without some sort of hurdle. That would be far too easy. 
So, instead, I'm losing vision in one eye. Very rapidly. Very suddenly. Very scary. 
I try to play it cool most of the time, but honestly, I am scared shitless. I went from 20/20 vision to whatever this is in less than 6 months. I'm pretty sure it's West Nile Virus related, and if so, there's a fairly good chance that I will be able to find a solution that will allow me some of my vision back. But then there's also the scarier versions and outcomes that I won't dwell on too much right now. 
All I know is that my recent appointment with my Optometrist ended with her basically telling me that glasses aren't going to fix what I have going on and I need to see the fine folks at OHSU for an MRI. Lack of insurance, of course, prevents me from going in next week, so I'll be waiting until October to be seen... unless I win the lottery. In the meantime, I'm silently freaking out, 24-7.
Every morning I wake up and it's a little worse. Every morning I forget that I'm losing my vision for a few seconds, and when both eyes don't clear up... I get bummed. Every night I go to bed earlier than usual, because it's too hard to see at the end of the day and I'd rather just close my eyes and sleep. The anxiety is minimal, but it's inside me looming, waiting to come out of hibernation. 
The "what if's" are all around. The things I took for granted are all over the place, on parade daily. Now is so important. Everything carries beauty. Faces are being programmed in my brain. I'm no longer able to drive or ride my bike. Thank goodness my legs work. I'm scared. I don't want this to happen in my other working eye. I'm a visual person. I'm 37. I'm not even prepared to handle being blind. How will I finish school? How will I do everything I do in a day? How will I retrain my entire life after nearly 40 years to accommodate all of this change??? How will I live? What about my relationship? I can't possibly impose on Will, he has a whole life to live. What if it becomes something serious? More what if's.... so many. Did I mention being scared? Ha.
...but I'm painting. I'm painting and painting and painting. When not painting, I'm thinking of other ideas and visions to paint. It's not been easy. I'm messier, fine lines are harder, my eyes get sore quickly, everything blurs...  but right now, it's what I have. 
Even when typing this, I wonder how much longer I'll be able to use my computer. Words are blurring and backgrounds are merging into a luminous grey-silver. My bad eye is starting to overcast my vision plane and I've started looking for eyepatches so I can focus better with the other. 
It happened so fast. I know it's not the end of the world, but it would be the end of many things that are so important to my soul. It could always be worse, but for me, losing my vision is on par with losing everything. I'm sure my fatalistic view will change as time progresses, I hope so. And in a few months, maybe I'll be better! Able to continue on with both eyes in fully functioning mode. Until then, I'd love it if you, whomever you are, could send me your positive vibes, thoughts, etc...  
And seriously, stop taking the little things for granted. *Note to self.